DrayTek Vigor 2860Vac wireless router review
The pricey, business-grade router has some powerful features. But you pay for them.
- Solid construction
- 6-port Gigabit Ethernet switch
- Seamless failover with multiple internet connections
- Business grade security and user management features
- Average wireless transfer speeds
- Outdated and unintuitive admin interface
A wealth of advanced features - hence the price. But worth it if you need them.
Price$ 479.00 (AUD)
DrayTek has long been synonymous with business-focused routers and the Vigor 2860Vac is one of the company’s first to offer the faster 802.11ac wireless standard. This allows a theoretical throughput of 1,300Mb/s on its 5GHz band and 300Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band simultaneously.
The 2860Vac is different to its 2860ac predecessor by integrating VoIP support in a way that doesn’t put your regular fixed analogue line out of play. The router gives you the option to make and receive calls either via VoIP, fixed line or both. For example, you can route local calls via your fixed line and elect to have international calls go via your preferred VoIP provider.
It’s also ‘nbn Ready’ in that it supports VDSL2 so Fibre-to-the-Node and Fibre-to-the-Basement internet connections should work fine.
The 2860Vac comes with features not normally found in consumer grade models but they’re certainly not exclusive to business users. These include a six-port Gigabit switch, an extra Gigabit WAN port for cable modem connections, ‘failover’ reliability with multiple internet connections, several SSIDs, sophisticated content filtering and traffic analysis, support for up to 20 wireless access points and centralised VPN management.
The extra business grade features do, however, drive up the cost to a $479 street price which is double the price of most consumer models.
The business focus of the router is reflected in its looks which are markedly bland and lack the visual “flair” of other routers in the consumer space. However, the solid construction and practical design may equally be more appealing to some domestic users.
Unlike most consumer routers, the 2860Vac puts its ports on the front for easy access along with an accompanying bank of LEDs that give you an indication of activity on the various ports and connections.
Our favourite feature of the 2860Vac is its ability to automatically switch all traffic over to a 4G or 3G connection whenever it notices your ADSL or cable connection has dropped out and then reverts back to your primary internet connection once it is up and running again, ensuring constant uptime. This modem connects via the onboard USB port and although not every model is supported, the 2860Vac 3G/4G compatibility list is quite extensive and it does include Australia’s big three carriers. A list of supported USB modems is available on the DrayTek website.
The 2x USB ports on the modem can also be used to convert regular USB external drives into network shares. However, the USB drive must be formatted to FAT32 storage and the files can only be transferred using FTP rather than SMB (SMB is slower but generally more convenient).Read more: Back to Business: school and work guide
The 2860Vac also offers support for up to 32 simultaneous VPN tunnels with comprehensive secure protocols. It is restricted to IKEv1, AES-128 and DH2 which limits its use in organisations that require AES-256 and DH5 or greater.
To access any of these features, you’re going to need to dive in to the router’s admin interface which is text-heavy and confusing at times. It’s easy enough to set up the router for basic use but anything more advanced requires a lot of searching and digging through sub-menus. We understand that this is a router geared towards experienced users but router manufacturers like Asus and more recently, Synology, have proven that it is possible to have a slick and clean interface without skimping on features and customisation options.
Unfortunately the 2860Vac underperforms on the fundamentals of what makes a good router, namely wireless transfer speeds and range.
2.4GHz performance was particularly poor with speeds of just 1.5 Megabytes per second (MB/s) at 10 meters over a 802.11n connection while the router failed to hold a stable connection over 20 meters. Speeds improved over the 5GHz band, reaching 13.15 MB/s within a 10-metre range while maintaining speeds above 6 MB/s over 20 meters. It’s important to remember, though, that performance can dramatically fluctuate in different locations and different times due to differing environmental effects, so our measurements aren’t the be all and end all.
Transferring large files from our Synology NAS (connected via Gigabit Ethernet) to our 802.11ac-enabled Macbook Pro achieved almost 25MB/s at 10 meters and 18.5MB/s at over 20 meters.
Though improved, these speeds were still decidedly average when compared to some other consumer grade 802.11ac enabled routers.
The 2860Vac expensive price tag and average wireless transfer speeds makes it a tough recommendation for home users. The 2860Vac is a much more compelling option for SMBs who are looking for a reliable modem router with advanced security and enterprise features. Its support for a backup internet connection and the automated nature of how that works is particularly compelling, particularly for businesses who require constant uptime. However, if you don’t have a need for extensive VPN features and user management, then a high-end consumer router will likely be a better and cheaper option.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 S laptops won't let you switch from Edge or Bing
- Gboard 6.1 beta refines voice input, GIF search
- Google app beta indicates Goggles-like Visual Search may be on the horizon
- Google makes it easier to summon Assistant in Allo, adds in-app GIF searching
- Microsoft moves Cortana and Bing into Microsoft Research to accelerate new features
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ford Everest Trend RWD 3.2L Diesel review
- Ford Everest Trend in its natural habitat
- Linksys Velop mesh WiFi review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTProject OfficerOther
- CCCore Java Front End DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- TPSolutions ArchitectNSW
- FTHelpdesk AnalystOther
- FTL&D Consultant - Wealth ManagementOther
- TPSolution Architect - NetworkQLD
- FTTech Lead - FinTech - Product DevelopmentOther
- CCSolutions Designer / Technology LeadNSW
- FTSenior Data EngineerOther
- CCAgile Project ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness analystOther
- FTDigital Business Analyst| 6 month contract roleOther
- FTLead UI / UX and Digital DesignerQLD
- FTSecurity Service Desk Operative - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTSecurity Specialist - Threat DetectionOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTSenior Systems EngineerVIC
- CCCognos Lead / Cognos Developer - CANBERRA BASEDNSW
- FTReporting Analyst | 6mth ContractOther
- TPNetwork ManagerNSW
- FTService Delivery ManagerVIC
- CCJunior to Mid-level Devops ConsultantQLD
- CCIteration ManagerVIC